Summer 2009

Blogging in Iran

September 2001 – First Iranian blog appears on the Internet.

November 2001 – Blogger Hossein Derakhshan develops a step-by-step guide to blogging in Farsi.

April 2003
– Journalist Sina Motalebi becomes first Iranian blogger to be RELATED ARTICLE
"Attempting to Silence Iran’s ‘Weblogistan’"
- Mohamed Abdel Dayem
imprisoned. After more than three weeks in solitary confinement, Motalebi was released on bail. By year’s end he sought asylum in Europe.

August-November 2004
– Iranian authorities detain upward of 20 bloggers and online journalists. After being released, many of the imprisoned bloggers provided detailed accounts of mistreatment and torture while in custody.

January 2005
– Government orders Internet service providers to filter a number of the most popular Persian blog-hosting platforms.

August 2006 – President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad launches a personal blog.

October 2006 – Farsi becomes one of the 10 most used blogging languages, according to blog indexing service Technorati.

July 2008 – Draft law being discussed in parliament adds the creation of Web sites and blogs that promote “corruption, prostitution and apostasy” to a list of criminal offenses punishable by the death sentence.

November 2008
– Hossein Derakhshan is detained, allegedly in connection with comments he made about religious figures. No official charges have been filed against the blogger. Authorities denied holding Derakhshan until December 30, 2008.

February 2009
– Bloggers and online writers Roozbeh Mirebrahimi, Omid Memarian, Javad Gholamtamimi, and Shahram Rafizadeh, all of whom were mistreated while in custody in 2004, are sentenced to multiyear prison terms, flogging and monetary fines. This happens in spite of a pledge by the chief of Iran’s judiciary that their abuse would be investigated and punished.

March 2009
– Blogger Omidreza Mirsayafi, who was sentenced to a 30-month prison sentence in December 2008 for insulting religious and political figures, dies in prison under suspicious circumstances. He had just begun serving his sentence a month earlier.

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